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THE NOONER for November 29, 2011
Much has been made about the "top-two" primary. For the first time next year, the top-two candidates in the June election, regardless of party will move on to the general election in November. While the system is being challenged by minor parties, I would be willing to bet that it is sustained for next year.
In theory, "top-two" will have a moderating force. I'll believe it when I see it. The more interesting consequence is that bloody party June primaries will be repeated in November. This is only likely in a handfull of districts with strong party registration and performance and weak/underfinanced candidates on the opposing side.
Since I'm on Capitol Hill today, I thought I'd look at which significant congressional races might see the same party battling it out in November following a top-two finish in the June primary. The factors used are (1) 2008 performance, (2) registration, (3) declared candidates, and (4) whatever intangibles I threw in.
Indeed, for we poli-geeks, next year will be our March Madness.
GOOD BUDGET NEWS: Facebook is reportedly planning to go public between April and June 2012, at a valuation of $100 billion. This is four times the value Google sought in its IPO. In April 2006, the state's personal income tax receipts surged, largely driven by sales by employees and wealthy early shareholders. Paul Kedrosky wrote about this for Business Insider last year.
MORE PAIN COMING Rethinking Budget Trigger Unlikely, Says Speaker [John Myers @ KQED]
OUTTA SIGHT: The UC Regents phoned it in yesterday to take testimony from angry faculty, staff and students, a meeting the Merc News called a "farce." After listening and promising to beg the state for $400 million more in next year's budget, they adjourned to a closed session to raise several administrators' salaries by as much as 21.9%. [agenda item]
Back in town, the governor has asked the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training to review its guidelines for crowd control. [h/t John Myers]
NO, IT'S NOT FIONA: Senator Dianne Feinstein finally drew a GOP opponent with the entry of Contra Costa resident Elizabeth Emken. You know the challenger isn't much of a threat when the Bee instead uses a photo of Assemblymember Fiona Ma, who formally has entered the race for Board of Equalization District 2 in 2014. Emken spent $300,000 of her own money to come in fourth in a bid to be the Rep to take on Jerry McNerney in 2010.
$$$ - Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings contributed $125,000 to the Safe California Act, which would end the death penalty in California. Apparently, even with Netflix stock off 77% for the year, Hastings intends to continue playing politics.
THE E-MAIL I DIDN'T OPEN: "AM ALERT: Voters show little faith in Congress"
THE STORY I TRIED TO IGNORE: "Laptop Wi-Fi said to nuke sperm, but caveats abound" [Reuters]
CONSOLIDATION: London-based advertising conglomerate WPP buys lobby powerhouse Glover Park Group [Politico]
END OF THE CAIN PAIN?: Cain 'Reassessing' Candidacy [National Review]
Headlines!TOP HEADLINES ON AROUNDTHECAPITOL.COM AS OF 12:00PM
Rethinking Budget Trigger Unlikely, Says Speaker
John Myers @ blogs.kqed.org
Assembly Speaker John Perez isn't ruling it out -- never say never, one supposes -- but nonetheless says that talk of the Legislature stopping, or even just rejiggering, the budget's automatic spending cuts isn't likely to go anywhere.
Jerry Brown Says He's 'Seriously Concerned' About Protest Response
Dan Smith @ blogs.sacbee.com
In the wake of violence on UC campuses, Gov. Jerry Brown today asked a statewide law enforcement commission to review guidelines for crowd control and "without delay" make "whatever changes are necessary to ensure compliance with First and Fourth Amendment protections against excessive force."
Dan Walters: Are High-income Taxpayers The Enemy?
Logically, therefore, those campus demonstrators should be praying for the much-despised one-percenters to enjoy big increases in their taxable incomes so that higher education appropriations could be increased and fees could decline. Somehow, one doubts that will occur.
Senate Democrats to press GOP on payroll tax break
Lisa Mascaro @ latimes.com
The Senate is expected to vote this week on President Obama’s proposals to expand a payroll tax holiday for workers and provide a tax break for companies that hire new employees– the first of several attempts Democrats promise to make to pass the proposals over GOP opposition.
Dispute Over Assembly Budget Records Headed To Court
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino was mad about money, not records.
Fresno Judge Rules State Cannot Take $1 Billion From First 5
Kevin Yamamura @ blogs.sacbee.com
A Fresno judge ruled last week that California's attempt to take $1 billion from First 5 commissions was illegal.
Bay Area Lawmakers Among The Wealthiest In U.s.
Lisa Vorderbrueggen @ ibabuzz.com
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: $101 million. Rep. Jerry McNerney: $9,000. OpenSecrets.com: Priceless.
California tax board wants ideas on changing tax laws
The state Franchise Tax Board wants to hear ideas for changing California tax laws.
Maxine Waters Lobbying For Top Financial Services Slot
John Bresnahan @ politico.com
With Monday’s retirement announcement by Rep. Barney Frank, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats face a tough choice: Can they make Rep. Maxine Waters the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee despite her ongoing ethics problems?
State's Tax Amnesty Program Raises $350m
The state Franchise Tax Board's latest tax amnesty program brought in $350 million from those who had underreported their income through tax shelters and offshore accounts.
Nonprofit Fights For Healthy Housing In Low Income Communities
Dan @ healthycal.org
In the eyes of Iskow, executive director of nonprofit Sacramento|Yolo Mutual Housing, it looked like third world conditions. Soon after, the complex, Norwood Annex, was demolished. Mutual Housing bought the foreclosed property, temporarily relocated its residents and tore it down. Safe new housing was built in its place, and the residents live in what is now called Mutual Housing at Norwood.
Protesters disrupt University of California regents, but peaceful mood rules
Shouting protesters interrupted the University of California regents' meeting on Monday, but the mood was generally peaceful as students criticized officials' response to the use of police force and implored regents to back raising taxes on the wealthy to fund higher education.
Wall Street protesters disrupt UC board meeting
TERENCE CHEA, Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
Shouting Wall Street protesters disrupted a University of California board meeting Monday, calling on banks and the wealthy to pay higher taxes to help fund higher education.
Barney Frank Retirement Bad News For Nancy Pelosi
Carolyn Lochhead @ blog.sfgate.com
Conventional wisdom in D.C. has it that House minority leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a hard time staying in the leadership if Democrats do not retake the House next year. Veteran lawmaker Barney Frankâs retirement does not bode well for that prospect.
Dispute over Assembly budget records headed to court
Assemblyman Anthony Portantino was mad about money, not records. But his spat with Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez has sparked a rare fight over public access to legislative records.
Despite Angry Protests, UC Regents Raise Administrators' Salaries
Jennifer Gollan @ baycitizen.org
Regents of the University of California, meeting for the first time since campus police used pepper spray and riot batons to disperse student protests at Berkeley and Davis, listened to nearly three hours of public complaints about those incidents and tuition increases before chanting protesters disrupted the meeting and drove them from the room.
Republican Elizabeth Emken to run against Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Torey Van Oot @ blogs.sacbee.com
With less than a year to go until the November 2012 election, a GOP challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has emerged.
Water Pollution Traced To La Brea Tar Pits
Jason Song and Tony Barboza @ latimes.com
Los Angeles County supervisors allocate $2 million for a system that will clean oily water before it is deposited into the sewers.
Senate Democrats Propose Extended Payroll Tax Cut
A showdown is expected with Republicans, who object to the proposal to pay for the cut with a tax on gross income over $1 million.
UC Berkeley police union defends Occupy handling
The Associated Press @ signonsandiego.com
The union representing University of California, Berkeley police say a video showing baton-wielding officers jabbing demonstrators earlier this month is misleading and doesn't show officers being hit, pushed and threatened.
White House Defends Obama Trips To Key Election States
Peter Nicholas @ latimes.com
A president can deliver a speech from anywhere and be assured that it will receive ample attention.